Palak dal

  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 30m

Dal is a great way to get protein into a vegetarian diet, but plain dal can get very boring. A good way to vary the dal is by adding different kinds of vegetables to dals or making a spicy sambhar.  I remember my Mum reserving a bit of the vegetable that she was cooking today to be cooked along with the next day’s dal-say she was cooking aubergine today, then she would save a piece to go with tomorrow’s dal, just for a change of taste.

I am not so organised, absolutely not. On a good day, if I actually remembered to reserve a piece of vegetable in the fridge, I might forget it for the next two weeks and then have to bin it. So I just go on a day-by-day basis. I indulge my moods and my impulses. That’s how I cook.

What do you do?


  • Toor dal / Yellow lentils- 1 cup
  • Water- 2 1/2 cups to pressure cook
  • Spinach- 1 cup
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder/haldi- 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder/dhania powder- ¼ tsp
  • Garlic- 2 pods
  • Hing (Asafoetida)- 1 pinch
  • Red chilli powder- 1/ 2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp or Tamarind pulp- 1/4 tsp
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee or butter
  • 1 or 1.5 cups water to be added later or as required
  • Salt
  • Sugar/ Jaggery - 1 pinch


Step 1

Rinse the dal in several changes of water until the water runs clean. Pressure cook with 2 1/2 cups water until soft.

Step 2

In a large wok, add oil/ ghee. When hot, add 2 smashed cloves of garlic. It will brown, turn it over. Add a pinch of asafoetida.

Step 3

Add in the chopped onions. Fry till translucent.

Step 4

Add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. mix well.

Step 5

Add the chopped spinach. Fry well. The spinach will wilt quickly. Do remember that spinach has a lot of sodium, so go easy on the salt.

Step 6

Add in the cooked dal.

Step 7

Add some more water if the dal is too thick.

Step 8

Add in the garam masala and tamarind or lemon juice and sugar or jaggery. In most Indian meals, a inch of sugar or jaggery is added in to balance the flavours.

Step 9

Give it a good boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes.


Serve hot with rice, dal or parathas.

For more dal recipes, look up:

Tetodal Sambhar1 DAlfry

Teto Dal                                     Sambhar                          Dal Fry- Punjabi style

You might like to serve this with:

Triangular paratha  20140110-P1070523-575x431  20141115-P1100695

Triangular Paratha               Microwave Plain Rice             Peas Pulao

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